Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Aliens and Strangers in this World

I voted in the Michigan Presidential Primary today.

I knew I would not be voting for Scooby-Doo. There was a part of me that wanted to vote for Bullwinkle, but in the end it was Mickey Mouse that got my vote. It is not like I have a lot of enthusiasm or expectations for this one. This is just another election cycle that is proving once again that we live in a culture that is incapable of producing real leadership... We are seeing the fruit of over a century of the influence of secular materialistic thought.

I was thinking today about the contrast of a capitalistic economic system working in a culture still dominated by a Judeo-Christian ethic, versus a capitalistic economy working in a culture dominated by a secular materialistic ethic. The contemplation of that should give us pause regarding blanket uncritical support for such secular materialistic capitalism.

The dirty little "secret" about secular materialism is that it provides no constraint upon the pursuit of a Darwinian survival of the fittest. In fact it feeds and idolizes the survival of the fittest. Forget the Humanist Manifesto! Or any and all altruistic concepts of the greater good.

Like the Jack London character of Wolf Larson, it becomes one's purpose, even duty, to live and squeeze every juicy marrow one can out of one's own life and any who happen to get in the way of that be damned. In the London story, Humphrey Van Weyden's altruistic liberalism paled and wilted in face of the onslaught of Wolf's inexorable unrelenting materialistic hedonistic logic.

This is the world we face. This is the world we as Christians have been called to bear witness to the truth that God is, and He is not silent. A world that loves the darkness because it hides their evil deeds. A world that will not have this Man to rule over them.

That thought should drive us to our knees in earnest prayer. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

~ The Billy Goat ~

Monday, February 20, 2012

Requiem for Ronnie

It is now February, 2012, some twenty years after this story first began to gestate in my mind. Another chapter has unfolded. I found out that this past week Marilyn passed away. She too is now gone. I never had an opportunity to talk to her again; to tell her that if she wanted to, I would dance with her one more time; to tell her that her life had meaning and purpose; that she would not be forgotten... May she indeed finally rest in peace...

It has taken me a number of years to write this story, as over the years revisions would be made and the story continued to unfold. One of those earlier revisions can be found on this blog. This past week the final chapter unfolded and fell into place so that now there is a sense of closure that before, the story did not have. I also included in this revision a separate but related story published here earlier.

So it is gentle reader I now present it to you in what I believe will be the final form. Click on the link above for the full story. Read and handle with care the baring of another's soul...


Friday, February 17, 2012

Just When You Think You Have Written The Last Chapter

There are times when you think you have written the last chapter of a particular story, but then you find another chapter is unfolding itself before your very eyes... The story when first written may lay dormant for years at a time, but then events and people coming together in a way you had not thought or expected. Along with that unfolding of another chapter, information comes to light that makes you go back and edit previous chapters.

This week I found myself in the midst of one of those times. A comment a friend made on Facebook. A quick Google search that oh so quickly found a story that is vitally connected and intertwined to the larger story you thought you had finished. Then the realization that for the story to be complete, another chapter needs to added, and previous chapters will need some minor editing.

I could go on about how this corresponds to the unfolding of the story of redemption as found in the Bible. To be honest, I don't really want to pursue that line of thought at this time, though it would be legitimate to do so.

I will comment though on how stories nest within larger stories and how all stories nest within and are encompassed by the Story. You see that in the Bible too, especially in stories like those of Ruth and Esther to name a few.

And it is also true that within that meta-Story, from our perspective, the final chapter is yet to come.

Come quickly Lord Jesus...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Evangelicalism: Warts, Wrinkles, and All

“Some of my friends believe we should abandon the word evangelical. I do not. I simply yearn for us to live up to the meaning of our name.” ~ Philip Yancey

If only we would live up to the meaning of our name…

Sadly many with the label of "Evangelical" do not. So we have within the broader tent of Evangelicalism those with the "clowns and dancing bears wearing tutus" mentality towards worship.

But should that stop us individually or corporatly as a church from striving to actually live up to the best of the meaning of the label "Evangelical, minus the accouterments of cultural evangelicalism such as "clowns and dancing bears wearing tutus" that we can very well do without?

One of the bright spots in my own experience has been in rediscovering over the past 10 years a vibrant Evangelical Biblical theology, (Russell Moore, D.A. Carson, Walter Kaiser and others,) that flamed a fire in my soul that had been deadened by previous involvement in a narrow theologically self-focused reformed puritanism…

Let popular Evangelicalism go the way of all flesh. That does not at all mean I or anyone else will have to give up the core Evangelical theology we find in the Bible. It does mean we may find a better, more positive way of expressing it.

I am driven back to the personal historical fact that, warts, wrinkles and all, the Evangelical church was in the providence of God my spiritual mother, that church He used to bring me to faith in Himself…

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Glory & Love

February 1, 2012 by Mike Wittmer

"Last evening a student asked if I have any insight on whether God is primarily a God of glory or love...."

I found Dr, Wittmer's response to his student's inquiry to be helpful on several counts. His response illustrates the importance of holding to both the "oneness" and "trinity" of God, and how doing so impacts how we view and speak of God.